Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo smart home speakers have reportedly received the ability to have contextual conversations, with the latest update to the Alexa virtual assistant, seemingly on the lines of its rival Google Home speakers. Even though some users have said that the contextual conversation with Amazon’s voice-activated speakers are still a hit-and-a-miss, it can definitely be seen as a step in right direction by the company.
Some Echo users have said on Reddit forums that follow-up questions are now available and that Alexa now has context through an Alexa update pushed out over last few days, as spotted by 9to5Google. However, the contextual understanding seems to be in nascent stages as pointed out by some users. For example, one user on a Reddit forum said that Alexa works fine if you ask questions like “What’s the weather in Houston Texas” and then follow it up with a question like “What time is it there?”
However, he pointed out that it fails for some complicated line of questions, for example, he asked Alexa when Carrie Fisher died, after Alexa answered successfully, he followed up with the question “How old was she?” to which it remained silent.
Even though Google Home has a much more developed database for contextual understanding with its Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa-powered products offer some third-party services that might help it sustain while it continues to develop on the recent update. As Google is also trying to add more and more services to its offering, it will be interesting to see which product comes out on the top.